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With Nataliya Binshteyn

As the country waits for Congress to resolve the government funding and debt ceiling stalemate, immigration reform simmers in the background. This week, a group of Democrats introduced a Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill, H.R. 15, entitled the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.” This is not the much awaited work product of the secret bi-partisan Gang of 8 (which has now been disbanded), but rather an almost verbatim reproduction of the Senate passed CIR legislation, S. 744. The new House bill does include provisions from the McCaul-Thompson “Border Security Results Act” (H.R. 1417) reported out of the House Homeland Security Committee and passed this summer with bipartisan support. It also removes the Corker-Hoeven border security amendment, which seeks to add approximately 20,000 border patrol agents, more than 700 additional miles of border fencing, a mandatory E-Verify program nationwide, and an entry/exit tracking system for temporary visitors to the United States.

House Republicans on the Judiciary Committee are working through the normal order and are drafting separate bills to address the future of undocumented immigrants in the U.S., as well as new temporary worker provisions for lesser skilled workers. We expect the Judiciary Committee to take up measures on immigration in the next few weeks. We also expect the “Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement (SAFE) Act” (H.R. 2278) and other border security measures to be brought to the House floor this year.

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Photo of Laura Foote Reiff‡ Laura Foote Reiff‡

Laura Foote Reiff is the Co-Managing Shareholder of the Northern Virginia Office. She also Co-Chairs the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s International Employment, Immigration & Workforce Strategies group. Laura focuses her practice on business immigration laws and regulations affecting U.S. and foreign companies,

Laura Foote Reiff is the Co-Managing Shareholder of the Northern Virginia Office. She also Co-Chairs the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s International Employment, Immigration & Workforce Strategies group. Laura focuses her practice on business immigration laws and regulations affecting U.S. and foreign companies, as well as related employment compliance and legislative issues.

Laura advises corporations on a variety of compliance-related issues, particularly related to Form I-9 eligibility employment verification matters. Laura has been involved in audits and internal investigations and has successfully minimized monetary exposure as well as civil and criminal liabilities on behalf of her clients. She develops immigration compliance strategies and programs for both small and large companies. Laura performs I-9, H-1B and H-2B compliance inspections during routine internal reviews, while performing due diligence (in the context of a merger, acquisition or sale) or while defending a company against a government investigation.

Laura represents many businesses in creating, managing and using “Regional Centers” that can create indirect jobs toward the 10 new U.S. jobs whose creation can give rise to EB-5 permanent residence for investment. She coordinates this work with attorneys practicing in securities law compliance, with economists identifying “targeted employment areas” and projecting indirect job creation, and with licensed securities brokers coordinating offerings. She also represents individual investors in obtaining conditional permanent residence and in removing conditions from permanent residence.

Laura’s practice also consists of managing business immigration matters and providing immigration counsel to address the visa and work authorization needs of U.S. and global personnel including professionals, managers and executives, treaty investors/ traders, essential workers, persons of extraordinary ability, corporate trainees, and students. She is an immigration policy advocacy expert and works on immigration reform policies.